The top priced yearling figured to be either an Encosta de Lago or a Redoute’s Choice and it happened that way when a colt by Coolmore sire Encosta De Lago (the 6th foal out of dual grade III-winning Rancho Ruler mare New Smyrna) attracted the highest bids. The Aus$420,000 (U.S.$327,000) colt was consigned by Blue Gum Farm as agent.
His buyer, leading Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings commented, “He’s a strong, precocious type from a wonderful 2-year-old family. He simply has all the qualities you look for in a future group I winner.”
Interest definitely peaked also when the Redoute's Choice (AUS) filly from stakes winning mare Maze (by Housebuster) entered the ring and soon attracted an opening bid of Aus$300,000 (U.S.$234,000). On consignment from Bellerive Stud, the filly was eventually knocked down to successful owner Nick Columb for Aus$400,000 (U.S.$313,000). Columb, who has raced such Aussie track luminaries as Courtza, Tristarc, Imposera, Magari and Centaurea, was clearly rapt to be taking home the Redoute's Choice filly with a view to racing her in next year's Inglis Premier Race.
“This filly I bought here is a typical Redoute's Choice. Look, see what I've written in the catalogue. ‘Lovely athlete. Should run', and I do believe she will,”
Flying Spur, the grade I winning son of Danehill who is a perennial racetrack star producer, is having a dream run with his juveniles and currently leads the Australian 2YO title. He also looks likely to finish very highly in the upcoming Aus$3million Golden Slipper (Aus-I) with three of his babies being ranked in the top five in the land. His yearlings were therefore well sought at Premier on day one also. Up stepped Victorian buyer Steve Brady who paid Aus$290,000 for a filly by Arrowfield Stud sire Flying Spur (the 7th foal out of dual-winning Last Tycoon mare Starnet) consigned by Fulmen Park as agent. Her dam Starnet is a half-sister to dual grade I winner Miss Margaretdam and grade II winner Confront.
Peter Heagney, William Inglis & Son director, pointed out that strong international participation contributed to the resounding day one result.
“We managed to secure purchasers from throughout South East Asia and South Africa which, together with our domestic buying bench, saw our average increase by 13% on last year's figures,” Peter explained. “While it's tremendous to have the likes of Redoute's Choice and Encosta de Lago ‘headlining' the Melbourne Premier, it's important to remember that no less than 25 different sires were represented by yearlings which made $100,000 or more today, while 28 vendors from four states also sold six figure lots.
“It's a clear indication of the stallion wealth available and quality of yearlings being presented at Melbourne sales.” he added.
The Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale continues on Monday with the second session commencing at 11 a.m. Overall on day one at the Inglis Premier Sale, 177 yearlings sold for Aus$12,840,500 (U.S.$9,999,000) at an average $72,545 (U.S.$56,493) (up 13% on last year ), with a median $50,000 (U.S.$39,000).